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Time to serve

Volunteers are key to success of Community Medical Clinic

Posted: November 29, 2011 3:07 p.m.
Updated: November 30, 2011 5:00 a.m.

At the Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County health issues are addressed with a vision toward creating stronger families and communities.  Patients are empowered to improve their own health and well-being.

With the help of volunteers, the Clinic treats 1,200 patients who are residents of Kershaw County and have no health insurance.  The CMC targets Kershaw County residents without health insurance who live within 150 percent of the federal poverty level.  Patients are offered free healthcare and medicine, diagnostic workups (labs and x-rays) preventative care for early intervention for breast and cervical cancer in women 47-64 years of age, counseling and diabetes education. 

Last year, 5,000 patient visits were scheduled and over 18,000 prescriptions were written for a value of $2 million.

A sour economy has displaced many individuals under a doctor’s care for diabetes and heart conditions, and now have no coverage, who are finding themselves without medicine and without a doctor.  They are new to an already over burdened and shrinking safety net system.

The board, staff and volunteers of the clinic work together to find compassionate and cost effective ways to treat chronic disease and long-term illness, to emphasize the prevention of illness and to seek opportunities for early intervention and increased access to care.

Susan Witkowski, executive director, said, “That meeting these goals would decrease the burden of non-urgent care on the emergency department of KershawHealth.”

How is this accomplished in Kershaw County?  More than 200 trained and committed volunteers are the key ingredient to the efficient operation of this family practice clinic that is the medical home to 1,200 patients.  Volunteers are involved in all aspects of clinic operations.  They work the front desk, schedule appointments, screen for eligibility, order medicines, distribute medicines, provide patient care: MD, DDS, FNP, DC, RT, Pharm D, MSW, etc, audit records, enter data, scan records, file lab reports, and serve on fundraising committees.  Their combined volunteer hours represent the value of five full time employees, (doctors, nurses, office staff) or $300,000 hours of in-kind services.  According to Deb McAbee, volunteer coordinator, “Our volunteers are special.  They truly are the mainstay of Clinic operations.”

If you are interested in helping, contact Deb McAbee at 713-0806.

All of these volunteers combined have given the clinic a total of 50 years of service.

“Thank you to these volunteers and to the many others that the Clinic counts on to treat patients,” McAbee said.

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